Southern Tier students rally at tobacco shareholder meeting

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Over 100 teens from Reality Check New York are rallying in Virginia against Altria Group, a large tobacco company that invested $12.8 billion in the e-cigarette company Juul Labs.

The teen-led, adult-run program is seeking to prevent and decrease tobacco use among young people in New York State.

Amber Updike (STEM Academy), Emma Pack (Ernie Davis Academy), Katy McCormick (Ernie Davis Academy), and Krissi Elliott (Corning Painted Post High School) are representing the Southern Tier Tobacco Awareness Coalition at the rally.

Despite what they say, Altria spends billions marketing their deadly products right in front of us, first cigarettes and now Juul,” said Pack. “Their goal is to create a new generation of customers, just in a different product.”

According to STTAC, the average age of a new smoker in New York is 13-years-old and 90 percent of adult smokers say they first tried smoking by age 18.

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